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1.0 !fis 1^ 


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Delivered at the Convocation of the 
University of Manitoba 

MAY 12, 1916 


Prindpal of University College 

University o£ Toronto 

-* :i.<f,'^^ 


^ .^.c 




The present year is scarcely an auspicious occasion for 
the convocation of ;i University. Our world has fallen to 
pieces, the academic world most of all. The Divine Irony, 
which to the imagination of ancient Greece, always chooses 
the hour when man is most confident of his peace and 
happiness, for his overthrow and his banishment from his 
fool's paradise, selected the summer of 1914. when Canada's 
century as we call it,— in Germany they call it Germany's 
century— was well begun, when Peace Societies and Inter- 
national Polity Clubs were in full swing on this continent, 
when, even in conservative Great Britain, responsible 
statesmen were protesting that no European war could 
again deflect Great Britain's peaceful course of social 
betterment, when every man sensitive to the American 
spirit— whether he kicked against its pricks or frankly 
welcomed them— felt in his bones that soldiering was not 
merely a lost art on this continent, but a buried bogey, that 
war was not merely dead but damned,— the Divine Irony 
selected that summer to show man how little he knows of 
himself or of his world. And in less than a fortnight 
Canada's century was baptised, but in blood: and the 
students of this University and of all Canadian Univer- 
sities, the young men who best express the very essence 
of Canadianism and Americanism, who are, so to speak, 
very Canada of very Canada, its natural voice, begotten 
no* made, were enlisting for service over seas, and some 
already, finding themselves in Europe on their holidays, 
had enlisted and had forsworn all holidays: in some cases 
for ever. 

Nine months of war passed and the University con- 
vocations of 1915 came round with khaki for academic 
gowns and with degrees in absentia lo men in the trenches: 

men alreacly ptTliaps sotm-wluil intliffcrcnt to the frills and 
luxuries cf eiliu':uicm ;inil of Ans Courses, to the fris'olous 
or femir.ine vantLies of civilization: to men, some of whom 
hail >;raihiateil alreaily by a man's rloath. lieyond the 
riaih of aeademic baubles. 

Vulnera perpessus contraria vtrius in hoslem. 

And now a .iecond war-convocation has come round 
ami the khaki is more conspicuous than ever, and yet less 
conspicuous to the eyes than in fac. because it lias ab- 
sorljcd many of the ^TaduatinK class and taken them away 
alreaily. And the Universities of an frankly 
confronting a session next autumn which will be like 
the sessions of Oxford and Canibridi;e and Aberdecr a 
session when they will become almost in fact though not 
in name, for the time being, women's colle^;es. 

What is to be said then at such an abnormal Convoca- 
tion: at a Convocation which seems to postpone almost 
unconsciously all academic c(jntrov ersies to a moie con- 
venient season, which seems lo adjourn for another year 
or two years all the platitudes and oeatitudes of Uni'-ersity 
life and artificial civilization: wliich seems to suHjjest only 
one thought, "what is the use of thought and learning, of 
learned men or students, at an hour like Ms when this 
and every land almost shouts aloi.d for the only three things 
necessary to its salvation, soldiers, mechanics and farmers: 
men to fight, men to prepare muail'ons for the fighters, 
men to grow food for the munition makers and the fighters"? 
What is a University at the moment but a foul's paradise 
or an anchorite's cell, an artificial cloister of the sheltered 
life, an exotic orchid of a hot-house civilization? 

Has not the war in fact brought with it a return to human 
nature in all its shape., .and forms: a return to patriotism 
in place of cosmopolitanism: a return to rougft living and 
hardships in place of luxury: a return to natural instincts 
in place of conventional prudence ;ind artificial worldli- 
ness? (Think for u moment of all those youthful war- 
brides and bridegrooms, and compare their b.appy f:iith 

with ttir raver, meaner ..lul more mercenary marriages (if 
the ilays of nir jieaee and imr ma'erialis.n.) The war has 
lir(iuj;hl \vi-,fi it a return even to faith yet more audacious, in 
place of the frank utililu; ';iI,^; secularism of two years a^-ii: 
a return, a revival, of .,eri.;us religion. Yes, and oven 
sometimes in its extremer forms, even to the re-awakening 
of the lonj; dormant passion in man's heart for miracle and 
for legend, for tjhostly knights and saintly .naids or, horse- 
h:'ck aIllle.•lrin^; in the battle line, ,is of ol I liy the hanks 
of Lake Ke^illus, hy the sca-shorc of, hon; fl^;ures of 
St. George and St. Joan and St. Michael, the iiatron Saints 
(jf England, of France, and of Russia. The war in fact 
has made all things new aj;ain an<l has made natural a^ain 
the things which materialism and commercialism had 
choked or smothered. And human n.iture has returned 
upon itself, has set up a^ain the old primitive standards of 
the nnspciled races, the virtues of love and loyalty and 
couraje. The world is impatient fcr the time of books 
and learninK and intellect, in the supreme need of less 
self-culture and more self-sacrifice. 

Books and learnin};, self -culture and rationalism seem now 
to smack Germany where indeed were their temples 

and their , nests. Judged by their latest fruit, these things 
seem as nothing or less thai nothing. They seem for the 
moment almost a part of German "frightfulness." If 
rationalism is producing a reaction towards religion, or 
even towards irrational superstition, we owe it. as we owe 
our united Empire and our old-new ^■irtues, (though we 
need pay no thanks therefor for the gifts were unintended 
by the giver) to that same Germany, which has achieved 
so much she never dreamed of and so '.Me of all she schemed. 
The war seems a turning away from University life and all 
sheltered life back to human nature. 

Yes, gentlemen, bv the dyer's hand is subdued to what 
it wonts in and the academic soohist or philosopher who 
has spent lis life in books and dreams and theories, cannot 
himself in the later reaches of the tranquil river of his 
peaceful life become soldier or mechanic or even farmer. 

Ill' can only ^o nn r.pinmnn theories .imi quoting his undent 
saws am! modern instance;- Yes, if it Ixj only to kill time 
and soothe impatience and make the delay seem shortei, 
till he can get the evening papers and the next news from 
the front. 

Tho real life of Canada, the real life of all of us almost 
in this hall is at the front to-day: the heart and soul are 
there and after that the body perhaps ou^ht hardly to count. 
And yet we have to carry on somehow: best if we are drill- 
ing, second best if we are making munitions, third best if 
we arc raisinp food. But if we can do none of these thinRS. 
still carry on, though it he only in the old vain way of 
speculating.; and theorising;. 

And perhaps under these conditions a theorist can find 
after all some uses in our Universities and some defence of 
them, even in these years of stern realities and of war: 
even in these years which mark the universal breakdown of 
our greatest illusion — Peace. 

What has been said of our Universities in the old days 
before the war? This often, that being British Univer- 
sities and not German nor French, nor even American, 
(which are often quasi-German) that they held learning 
too low and thought too much of mere character and morale: 
that their students — though healthy and wholesome in 
mind as well as body, honest, that is, and temperate and 
manly and full of a certain curious and British spirit of 
fair-play, derived from their indulgence in athletics — yet, 
like the rest of their nation and of the Mother-nation, took 
too little account of learning and of science: acquired 
little or nothing of the faculty of taking pains, which is 
the genius of this world of men and of its supermen, the 
Germans, (as even French proverbs and British transla- 
tions thereof have testified) : that they were instead infected 
by the license of their political systems, unwilling to submit 
to discipline and organization: that they were too much 
given to free speech and free thought, too jealous of their 
liberty and their initiative: poor machinery in short, and 
second-rate instruments, round pegs in square holes and 

squ.iri' jii'tjs in rouTi.l liolcs, |inilitir iif fridion ami j:irrinx: ihi'V wore a mirroiusm of thrir imn ileiiKKTatic iii- 
stitulions, which oinstiuiic imly a^ the Kict' says 
— an aputhfosis of inc<)Tnpi'tL'n(t', 

Prnhahly it was all true t-nou^jh atul >-ct •• is sdnu-thin^ 
i)n the DthiT siilf. it k'X's simu' way In strike .. Iialanco ami 
ri-ilri'ss the risini; scale, tliat when cjur Knipire ni'eilcd 
soldiers, at least its st\ulcnts started with the natural 
instincts of yuunj; men. Nature ai' ' instinct in such a 
case c;in ciivii a wilderness oi ijjii: ,ance ahcmt ancient 
learninj;, and even some dclkieiuies in modern science. 
And it is something mure on the sam? side that the student 
should have become a vduntary soldier; and it is some- 
thinK yet more that ha ^ become a soldier he should 
still retain some initiative and some self reliance with 
which to temper a soldier's automatic discipline and his 
somewhat mechanical obedience to routine. 

The record of our Universities with their enlistments, 
ten thousand from Oxford, ten thousan from Cambridt'e, 
two thousand five hundred from our o' ml very youthful 
University of Toronto, numbers in pr-.portion, or perhaps 
in proportion even greater, from the infant Universities 
of Manitoba and the West, this record makes it easier for 
us to talk to-day to our critics or enemies in the Rate, ■ n 
they scot! at the low standards of British IcaminR. 

One cannot well have it both ways perhaps ; cannot Rivt cne 
heart and soul to learning and yet be sure of retaining 
the man's wholesome instincts. The men of science of 
Great Britain are complaining that the British Govern- 
ment with its contempt for learning will not listen to its 
great chemists, misunderstands the question of cotton and 
contraband, does not appreciate the scientific side of a 
blockade. But these things after all presumably can be 
learned, if slowly, yet learned ; they are of the letter of the 
law, not of its spirit. If the spirit of the nation and of its 
Universities were not sound, nothing would avail and no 
science would save. 

But has not the enemy, objects the critic, both letter 


and spirit- both science and manly instinct? In a way 
indeed he lias, but so as to spoil both : a science wholly mat- 
erialized to politics and national egotism : a manlv instinct 
wholly obsessei! with the ambition, manly enough, super- 
manly it may be, but unchastencd and arrogant, ungener- 
ous and unprincipled, to dominate the world. The ancient 
Germany which ruled the air (but not with Zeppelins in 
those days), which inspired men's souls and brains like 
ancient Greece at her best, Icavin),' to France and Great 
Britaii. to turn men into mere soldiers or sailors, the ancier.t 
Germany is turned upside down and is become a land, 
unlike ancient Greece in everything now, e.Ncept in its 
belated paganism and its out-of-date indifference to pledges 
and truth speaking. What in an ancient Greek— when 
Greek-like he broke his pledge— seems but a choleric word 
becomes flat blasphemy from Christian Germany : blasphemy 
so rial that the world is asking if it really is in any sense 
Christian Germany at all: or is it not rather— as certain of 
its own prophets have prophesied with boasting— the old 
Germany still of Odin, never given over except upon the 
surface to the new-fangled religion of Ch.istianity, but 
true still to the old religion of valour, to the Odin who is 
older and greater than the Christian's God, to the Odin 
whom her forefathers worshipped before the days when 
the Roman Empire imported into Germany a veneer of 
the new religion of Christ' 

At best, Germany seems to be a land of the Old Testa- 
ment and not of the New: and still so unfamiliar with the 
New and so unsympathetic towards it, that when she saw 
a nation like Great Britain and France, and a continent 
like Amenca, given u|) to peace, she could discern only the 
sordid side of peace and supposed that these races' had 
become decadent, until the Marne and Verdun, until Mons 
and Ypres and St, Julien have suggested at last, it may be, 
a few unwilling doubts and unwelcome difficulties. 

Can a nation really be at once pacific and humanitarian 
towards the world and yet resolute to defend its rights 
and the nghts of others? Is it really possible to retaiti 


the virtues of the (11,1 Testament, the primary virtues of 
man, self-reliance and will and courage, and yet fulfil 
the Old with the New Testament by Kraftinn on' to these 
pnmary virtues the secon<lary virtues of the New Testa- 
ment and of the Christian:- Is it reallv true-that ironical 
fancy of the ,)aKan Plato— that a true state can really 
nse to the stature of a wcUbred watch dos;- fearless even to 
aggressiveness towards intruders, yet loyal and lov^nR to 
his master and sympathetic and intelligent to his master's 
household and his master's friends? Can a state really 
urate the manliness of Sparta~as Pericles and Plato wanted 
to do— with the humanity, intelligence and peacefulness 
of Athens? 

I am slipping you perceive into the ancient threadbare 
topics of University Convocations, into the old classical 
references to Athens, and yet I am not leaving, I hope the 
topic which concerns us all to-day, the shivering scales 
wherein the fortunes of the worid hang balanced and have 
hung for twenty-one anxious months. The ancient thread- 
Dare topics have come to life again-like all else that is 
real in life— since the war: the war which is Athens and 
Sparta fighting their old battles of long ago once again. 

And that is the defence, at bottom, for the study of the 
humanities in a University. You want to know first— 
before studying extinct animals, the ichthyosaurus and 
the plesiosaurus, before speculating on centaurs and 
'■himicras and the scientific truths that may lie behind 
these legends— what sort of a monster vou are yourself 
as Socrates used to say. And until you have made some 
sort of pr.-ress in the study of humanity and yourself 
have begun in some slight fashion to know yourself, the 
other sciences of paleontology and zoology can conven- 
iently wait, even though they be not so far' divorced from 
the study of humanity, as Socrates hastily supirosed. He 
would not interest himself in the minotaur of Crete but 
the modern Greek scholar has dug up the minotaur in 
Crete and has showed us that the fabulous monster and 
his exploits had a very human and a real and historical 


butchered to make a Cretan holiday." 
If a man is wholesomely obiective anH r«,.. 
and knows as little of himself, as most of us wh n" ' 

humamt,es; for already nature has given hL o Ver h 
objective and impersonal ^ ''"'*'"'■ '^°'^ 

huitis'"iirriktrrr'°"r''' ^°"-- '"« 

-dern and ChHst't ItdritiTe worldt^y' rl'^-f 


mmm' that" h^ ^a^^^r trh^r ^""^ ^"^ '" 


.n.oduct.o„ o,- ,c,. own .v..a.o„ l.o, rafe\r /.^^ 
It is a mere truism that the unhappy Balkan Sf»t« 

of n»t, that ,s of race and instinct, out of which they hive 

also sometimes i? may'be .omthng le™" It"""' """f 
Greek language, so much as the Gre "spirit 1"T ' 
quercd Romans and even Jews: and later a ' tL R '°"" 
sance, a^ain conquered Eilrope, and pr:hab v hclpe™"" 
^ome^measure d.rectly and indirectly t'o the discot^y ;" 


*'■■ a grocer" s,,i,i ,1,.. French sro« r "" ^ ■""" ^"'i 
for lus .oration. U .-ouulZ ,e J "I 7'"" "™ ''"'"'^d 
of a ™an, '.born a n,a„ an 1 fed ! d, "'^ ^^"' '" ^^ 
«"d d,ed a lawvcr." n „;' !' '^ '' ''''""■■■ "r "born a man 
^ -- and died a pro.Cs™ "' "^.^^ %-- '« say "born 
ate was the worst of all: "he's e^h T , '""^ ""^ '^"" 
'^ly -■'-•■I. And the modern '.irifr ' °" '"'^'""*'" 
oP'Kran, in a modern dress wh™ h °'"' '^"'''''•^ '^^'^ 
-ho can, do: who a 't teach " , ■™?'"^ " """»«-• 
'-tor, satirist has added he enroll' "^"'' =°'"''- ^^-" 

cant teach, teach teaching" 17' "^■. '^"'' '^ose who 
'^-o things, that of all Universif "f" f '* '^^""^ '° "ean 
most difficult to turn to ' ? ^ faculties pedagogy is the 
old liberal educat,-o„"„rthrArt:T"'- '"" '"^^ -™ ^e 
"•■^h a ^■iew to teaching and as an h"'' ""^ « '^ 'aken 
loses ,ts efficiency and its form " T"'°" '"^ ™^^'-^'. 
-nspmng and uninspired teTeher " '^ ""' '""--^ °"' 
professton was from the first the cV /"'' '''''*"'*^ '^eir 
shortsighted eyes. ""^ '^'"''f P"2e before their 

na2^2':?r tr°:;;s i ^ "^^"-'^ "^^ -^ *"« 

which provoke these scoffs . ""^''^ " '^acher's life 

" pan the speda, . is ^ofX^c 'T"'' "' '^ ■' -t 
theones and doctrines and 1? continent for books and 
«- of this eontinen from pedTT"'" ''^ ^P^^^' <>'--- recommends these s"off to L"'"" '°°' '^""'"«- 
Presumably this alienation fro™ t T'" """^ ^^"ada.' 
a young country which has not T, """'^ '' '"^^''-We in 
"ot.ce it in their Canadian eh^e """r"' «°™™esses 
"ack m the learned atmosphere f/"*^ ^'^'^ themselves 
of the pleasant Seine in ^1^ """' ""' ""= ''^"k^ 
an old book stall: nay, even ;m^5'rh Z"'' '"''" ^'^" - 
.°f Great Britain. " teachT'.''''"'*'"-^ ^""ure 

■—a™ High school rt-uS^iS':;--- 




«=•>• "hether it is mer! awkl ,""'" """'''■"">-' "'■■^y 
'he use of English, whch'l "'"'■" '■""" ■"''-■''-ence in 
from Greek into smnTZ\"'- "V"' '" '""■■^'«<= 
taken word by word b" " '' "'"* " ''"«'-'' -"ainlv 
'«^ sense. I hardly hink i" ' ? f^""""' ^"'' «ill 
"^e of EnKli.h.- it i rather I r '' ■""P^"«"^e '" the 
-ore profound delusion .' ^or '7' ' T'" "^''P"^ ^'^ 
an unconscious and radii, JI "^'"' ^"'"'y- *' '^ 

and Romans meant no 1^^'"'"^'™ '"^^ ""^ «™ks 
w-te "dotted nonsens'ul:'™/''^^ 'T" """ ^'-^ 
to us several parts and rans ate ration" V' ""^ '° '^'^'^ 
argument, for coherent ar^m n. ^' ""° ^ '^"'''^'•^"t 

>t must have been wWtt'^ ' ""' "'=«'• 'here: why 

order to exerdse the mrmrv^rrb"-'" ^"<^^<' ^•-' '" 
generations and in order to dev ^ ^"^1: '^"''"'" '" '«<^^ 
art (.«„„„ /»>/,V,/J of np '■ '" ""™ ""■ nnhappy 
art no doubt can most easilv^""""'^. ''^"''"dash.- wHch 
memorising the eheape t and w" >"'T'' '^^ ''">•'"« -"d 
Albanians and of their ace", kTn'f ir^h' „"' "" "'°''-" 
>t has been said by Plato Ind n?^ ' "^ "'""'="'= '^'•'=«ks, 
and therefore they possess the •'/ 7'^^' ^^""°' --" 
Canadian children ^,a~5ea ed *? °'- r""^"^" «"' 
and her beneficent comnln , "'"'°'" of Nature 

'herefore rather than ,:Ttrr:^th''tT- ^"" ^^^''^ ^"'^ 
selves they will memorise some Th "^'"^ '°' "'™- 

and ,f they are obscured ''7; "'her person's thoughts, 
'hem at third hand in'btd tm T'" '""«"■•'«''• "■■'" '^^e 
od days took the place of bool""!!,""-- """''^^ '" 'he 
of thought, a much uorse u^o i p"' "V^'^" "'^ P'^» 
more humiliating to an examiner t^ , "^"""''^'ions are 

his own phrases served ,m r.,' ""■'" '''S^'" ''n IVIay 

eooked, undigested „lL°ff'"">- '« him, raw. un- 
'h;- ver.v acme of hun^i a " ''t^tn T'^''^''- ^-^ i' is 
taken down wrong, or h■,^■c V' n ■, "^ ""''^^ have been 
" hecome .lleg,ble, and reappear 


with just the wrong word added and iust the rJ^ht 
m.ssinK, so that they can no longer be either ^^^ """^ 
but are sin^ply n,eaningles.s Jb^rish L uninTerKf' 
and n,uch less musical than th^ twitterings of the b''^ 

For education after all .t r,^i„ ,u ,. ^"- 


forces an intelligent reader to thinkand to think hTd' 
and to think logically in the act of transuln " A > « ' 

to find out what he wanted to say is a real effort nflfr 

for the sake of Tn°,h ' ^4 "'■'" '"^''^ '''^ examination 
and ladt \I ^"^ Knowledge-he who reads freely 

and s.adly, without thinking of examination-shall sa-e 
his examination," we should ,,^, ... . , ™ 

snouid not as a nation dislike and 


distrust books so much as we d,,, for we should be less 
obsessed wuh eKa„,inations an<l vocations and sL 
matcna and commercial preoccupations: and we sh"u W 
gradually acquire-preposterous, extravagant chimerical 

young and old I have heard of a youthful student o 
"y College m Oxford who was scandalized to heir h^ 

i-oetry I cal that playing >t pretty low," he said 

That conventional reverence for the oast th=t f.i j ' 

unrntelligent separauon of the age! ^f^fhe t'c tan""of 

°pirit'':hr ',t' ""]' '"^" °' ^""t"-' '"" - 'hrvery 
-ptnt which ultimalel, destroys or obscures Aristotle's 
nght to be heard on Poetry or anv other subject That 
youthfu student in Oxford was of the same mental stuff 
and make-up as the anatomist in Venice .n^he lldl 
ages, who said that really if he could only believe his ye 
he wou^d suppose from his autopsies that fhe nerves cenTred 

ventional deference to AristotlHas p „ ucef in^"^:^; 
by natural reaction the equally false and now t "day the 
equally conventional indifference to Aristotle wh ch 

he^had only known ,t, was an English Aristotle and a v -rv 
cong mal sp.nt, in reality, with the Bacon of Str^'irus ^ 
a fu, . ' Jhls reason only, that education can develop 

a ful m,nd an,l interests and so give a m.n a hJd 
on hfe still when other holds have slipped om him and 

fa, edT if ""'?• " Z'' ''■• ''"^ '■'""' '° "-hing an" h^s 
a «i, ,f ,t were for th.s cause only, a University justifies 


Lite IS a tragedy tu timse wh» fuel -said the Enriish 
cnt.c-a comedy to those who think. If it be only then 
to preserve the capaeity for seeing the romedv and the 
humours of hfe, if it be only to distract attention from it, 
traKedy-especially from the personal an,l individual side 
of that traKcdy-the thoughtfulness of the educated 
man, of Anstotle or Sir Francis, justifies itself. It would 
have Rone hard with Sir Francis especially if he had been 
enRrocse,! wuh the personal tragedy of his own career 

But Cod forbid -I hear a voice sayins-God forbid that 
the Umversny should turn out academic satirists and scoffers 
and eome,hans who sec only the vanities and absurdities 
of human nature and ambition, and only laugh at human 
effort, should turn out academic cynics, such as are to 
mark the atter days of this strayed planet-according to 
the Prophet of the Epistle to Timothy-men without 
natural affection, who have no feelings left to be touched 
with mans mfirmity and Hfe's tragedy: men without a 

pwitoph:;: "' ' ''"■'■•' """'"' ^ "'''^°^- ^-' '-«»-« 

rDn't be alarmed, gentlemen, the prophecy in the Epistle 
to Lmothy (II. 3, 3) is a warning meant for those who 
<)n;:v thmk and nez-er feel. It concerns only those who their whole hves in the University atmosphere, who are 
not birds of passage there as you are. Let the Professors 
look to themselves. It is to them that warning is addressed 
And they were warned long before in words hardly less 
sigmfieant by the prophet of ancient Greece. "It is an 
awful thmg, Socrates," says Callicles in Plato's Gorgias 
for a man to live his whole life in a Universitv. He spends 
his days whispering in a corner of life's banquet hall with 
a handful of immature boys and giris and he misses all 
that makes hfe hfe: the market-place and banks and law 
courts, the language which man speaks to man, the thoughts 
which live men think. Education is a splendid discipHne 
but a lamentable vocation; it plays the mischief with a 
man who hnger.s there too long." Let the Professors I 
repeat, see to this. I am speaking not to them-they are 


a ncRlipble quamity-but to the ordinary student of 
what the University ran do for ;„„, and her. He is in' no 
danKer, still less is she, . f seeing eomcdy only, and of turn- 
inK life into a satirist's jest: he is sure to find tragedy as 
-ell as comedy, si.le by si.le. and probably even, like Socrates 
at the Athenian dinner table, v.hen the dull dawn was 
breaking and the rest of the companv were under the table 
or too sleepy to understand him. he will expect to find 
them-unlike the practice of the dramatists of Athens 
but like the practice of Shakespeare- within the limits of 
the same drama and within the covers of the same book- 
at any rate he will find them bound up together in the same 
single volume of his own life. 

Education-says Aristotle, to return from .nis digression 
—is the rattle of youth: it amuses youth, that is, and keeps 
It out of mischief, even as the infant's rattle helps to kill 
time for the infant amid the ennui of his nursery It is 
the rattle of youth, and the anodvr.e of maturity and uge 
and this quite apart from the fact, which another Greek 
sophist and professor has elaborated, that education also 
inadentally provides an honest living-bread and some- 
times a taste of cheese-for the teacher or lecturer himself 
that IS for a peculiarly inoffensive and unobstrusive set of 
persons, who otherwise might go without either, not being 
very practical. 

This may seem a somewhat low or even grovelling point 
of view whici; Aristotle and Isocrates, with characteristic 
Greek mciosis oi litotes or irony, have set forth in defence 
of their profession. If it seem so, Aristotle is prepared to 
strike a louder note. When people talk, he says of 
setthng hfe's problems by providing for every man three 
acres and a cow, or three square meals a day, they miss 
the ultmiate problem (though three acres and a cow would 
settle the immediate political and industrial problems) 
Life IS not made insoluble only by the struggle for bread 
Arrange for the bread and you will find some m»" ■> uand- 
ing cheese or even ch impagne: arrange even for these exact- 
ing spirits and still the problem is not solved. There are 


ambitions still more soarinR: there are cxactinR minds no 
less than bodies. There are soldiers and demajrogucs and 
millionaires: minds which demand |H>wer, leadership, 
conquest, world-domination or downfall — like the mind 
of my pupil Alexar der {one may overhear Aristotle saying 
sotto voce), and for ambitions of the Alexandrian type, 
there is one anil only one recipe-- education. Here is the 
cheap and chief defence of nations. (Aristotle as a Greek 
naturally finds his cheap and chief defence of nations in 
intellect rather than character.) Let such a man plunge 
into a library or a University, into the world of thought. 
Here he will find worlds to be conquered, which are re- 
newed as fast as conquered, which never will be conquered 
all of them, or nearly all: which leave behind no feeling of 
disgust and satiety when conquered, only the thirst for new 
worlds to conquer. And most of all and best of all here 
is a field where the conqueror injures no one, interferes 
with no one by his conquests, but benefits rather his com- 
munity and his age both positively by serving it, and 
negatively by avoiding politics and public life and that 
glamour of leadership which turns a man's ambitions into 
dangerous channels. He that looks at public life as a 
necessary evil, even w.ien he patriotically participates for 
the State's sake in it; he that has an ambition behind these 
things and above them, an ambition which retains his 
first Icve and his best thoughts — one is almost bound to 
think of Mr. Gladstone or of Mr. Balfour— the ambition 
to think and know, he alone is the man in whom first rate 
powers of mind and soaring ambitions injure no one, nor 
even disgust and ■''sillusion himself. 

The real remei ■ for life's troubles is neither bread nor 
champagne, but Jniversities. 

I have expand d Aristotle of course a little, but in any 
case it is only an echo from Plato and an anticipation of 
Pascal. "The worst evils of Ufe arise," says the Freneh- 
mjn, " because men caimot sit still in a room and be 
happy": but they can perhaps be happy if the room be a 
library or a laboratory, or better still, be one of nature's 


libraries and laboratorit's, u ini)unlain rafiRC fur the tifolonist 
and mineralogist, a flower Kanlen or a western prairie for 
the botanist. Aristotle was at heart, in spite of all hii 
studies in history, politics, ethics, philosophy and poetry, 
even in a Krciitcr <UKree a student of natural hi.tory and 
natural science an<l a collector: thounh he certainly never 
exalts tiiesc sdences and contrasts them with the human- 
ities in our later, narrower and meaner fashion. He was 
nearir in temperament to Oliver Wendell Holmes, poet, 
phy^' lan and moralist, than to our lopsided specialists. 

'1 IS is what University education can help a man to do 
for himself. A University is not a religion, a church or a 
home. It can not often do the best thinj;s, create character 
by influence and example. It is only a Greek sort of church, 
or a Greek sort of religion: th. Greek church in the sense 
of the church of pagan Greece: the church of the cultiva- 
tion of the intelligence: i church in which all moral terms 
are t.ikcn up and translated into intelligence and are ex- 
pressive of thought, instead of expressive of will and 
characier— "dear head" the Greeks said when we say 
"dear heart." The good man in a University class is what 
the good man was • i Thucydides often, and to Plato 
generally, the man of mtellect or scholarship, or the shrew-... 
est wit, or the b st speaker, or even the best manipulator 
of men, the best statesman or the cleverest coiner of catch 
words, the happiest phrase-maker, the smartest politician. 
You won't find the word "good" often used in University 
circles in its merely ordinary or moral sense, of the will 
and character, to denote the most honest man or the most 
charitable, or the most temperate, or the most humble: 
least of all, the most humble. But if the University gives 
this specially ancient and Pagan sense to the word "good," 
if "goodness" means excellence of mind, superiority of 
intellect or of force, rather than the acquired virtues of 
the will, which are called "good" in our private life and in 
our churches, if the University is a Pagan church and not 
identical with the Christian church, if it even conspicuously 
falls short at times in developing such very recent and 


Chrisiian vinucs ^i'' humility (wliiih was to th,' Orcoks 
part (i( thi' (idsiKMs f(K)lishnt's»). nivorthclcss, cfn'''"""'". 
the CniviTsity (l<x'S much for the man himst'lf and for the 
State, which no other orjjaniziitum not even the home 
or the churches can do. 

Hut to come nearer home and to run from education in 
);eneral to this I'nivcrsity in particular, you have some 
a(lvanta>;es in the West here and in SuskatiKin and Eiim<m- 
ton which we miss muih in Toronto. Your Faculty of 

•riculture is in much closer connectir)n with the other 
iilties; that means much for you. The Faculty of 
Agriculture K'ves this University opportunities of ori^final 
researc^^ which are not possessed by the Universities of 
Ontario in the same de^;rce. Students who desire to pro- 
secute original research in other departments will iwrhaps 
naturally no East; but those who are satisfied to pursue it 
in AKriculture can do it in close touch with the University; 
and after all, AKriculture is the Faculty in which original 
research lor Canadians is most natural and most beneficent. 

You can do here in your own University the same sort 
of work done in Ottawa ind in Guelph, the work by which 
the Exp'-rimental Farm and the Agricultural College have 
earned a reputation for Canada all over the continent and 
lieyond ii and whereby the wheat area of the Dominion 
— the chii ; commercial asset of the Dominion — is being 
constantly extended. Until Canadians showed what they 
could do at St. Julien, their agricultural colleges were their 
only title to fame in European eyes. 

Original research in some subjects is something of a 
superstition and a delusion, but in this department it is 
unmixed .,'ood. For in the new and natural sciences and 
in medicine, and most of all in the Canadian Science, in 
the Science of Agriculture, there is a virgin land in every 
sense, literal and metaphorical, to be explored, in explora- 
tions equally interesting to the explorer and beneficial to 
his country. U is an advantage to you to hav? this bene- 
ficent Facult>' so closely allied to your University. The 
evils of Industrialism amd Commercialism lie heavy on 


the old world already, and I'vcn arc bcKinninK to lie heavy 
on young Canada. One tif the few antidotes and palliatives 
— he easiest and most obvious — to these evils, lies in a 
return to the linid, in the resumption, I had almost s.iid. 
of man's only lawful occupation. It is one of the con- 
spicuous advantages of this Vnivcrsity that you can hardly 
shut your eyes as we are tempted to do in Toronto to the 
Faculty of Auriculture